Daniel Pipes has long ago lost any credibility he may have had as a historian or scholar of Islam. Instead he spends his time indulging in conspiracy-theories to maintain an audience and stuff his wallet with money garnered from the Islamophobia industry.
Here is a list of a few of Pipes most notable conspiracy theories. (Compiled Thanks to Rational Wiki):
1. Muslims who win beauty pageants/contests are in fact receiving affirmative action.
2. Obama was a Muslim. I quote: Obama was an irregularly practicing Muslim who rarely or occasionally prayed with his step-father in a mosque.
3. Muslims who start schools to teach Arabic are in fact promoting radical Islam.
See much more here (original links to Daniel Pipes's writings can be found here as well).
Now Pipes’s latest conspiracy is that a Muslim cartoonist/comic-book author is in fact
"attempting to insidiously proselytize Islam (da’wa) to “Western Children,” who in his words: “should not be exposed to missionizing propaganda of this sort.”The comic book in question is called The 99. I have never read it and don’t care to read it. From Pipes’s summary of the premise, it seems like a Muslim version of the DragonBall series. One doesn’t need to read it to determine that Pipes is full of horse manure.
So what’s Pipes’s basic problem with the comic books?
In short, The 99, available in both Arabic and English, contains overtly Islamic content and explicitly promotes Islam. Granted, its Islam has modern aspects, but among non-Muslims the series engages in surreptitious da'wa. (Emphasis mine).ROTFL!
When I was a child I read comic books voraciously. It was what honed my love of reading, learning and creative-thinking. The heroes in these comic books primarily came from a Judeo-Christian backgrounds and I was (and still am) a non-Judeo Christian.
For instance, Superman is a Methodist, Spiderman a Protestant, and Nightcrawler a devout Catholic.
Let’s take a look at Nightcrawlder, who I think is the most religious comic book character that I have come across. According to adherants.com, Nightcrawlder’s
Catholic faith has deepened to the point that he studied for the priesthood and was even a Catholic priest for a brief time. Later writers decided to take the character in a different direction, however, and explained away this ultimate act of religious devotion as having been caused by some form of external mind control. In contemporary X-Men comics, Nightcrawler remains a devout Catholic, but he is not planning to full-time religious life as a vocation.None of these heroes made me want to become a Methodist, Protestant or a devout Catholic and the same is true for vast majorities of Muslim children around the world who consume western comic books.
Otherwise, Christian missionaries would not have to preach in non-Christian territory around the world with the Bible in one hand and religious pamphlets in another. All they would have to do is distribute Marvel or DC comic books with Christian superheroes to little children and those children will grow up to be Christian! If it’s that simple to convert non-believers via comic books as Pipes proclaims it to be, then you would think that missionaries would catch on to the trick.
Now this is not to say that there aren’t comic books used primarily for this purpose by religious groups. There used to be a street-preacher who would sit outside my university and distribute Christian literature to ongoing students. Among this literature were Christian comics. But this however, begs the question: Why can Christians distribute Christian comics to non-Christians, but Muslims cannot distribute comic books to non-Muslims?
But perhaps more importantly, one should ask the question: Why is Daniel Pipes so afraid of the competition? Let Islam compete in the market place of ideas and if it can win hearts and minds, it means Islam must be selling a good product that people want.